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Taking a Phone Message Checklist

Taking a Phone Message Checklist

Answer the phone
Write down everything they say
Say "Goodbye" (and "You're welcome" if it applies)
Give the message to the contact person ASAP

Answer the phone

First things first; the phone is ringing, and you need to answer it! If a caller needs to speak to someone who is not in the office, go through the sub-checklist below and fill in the relevant form fields.

  • 1

    Apologize (a simple ‘I’m sorry’ is enough)
  • 2

    Give a reason for your colleague’s absence
  • 3

    Ask the caller if he/she wants to leave a message


"I’m sorry he/she isn’t here at the moment. Can I take a message?"

  • Considering they say yes, continue to the next step.
  • If they say no, the call is over.
  • Just remember to ask if you can do anything else – they might want to call back and leave a message on the answering machine.

Write down everything they say

Now you need to record the message and details of the call and caller. Fill in all of the form fields below in order to attain all of the necessary information and record it for later access to pass on.

An effective telephone message should also consider the following:

  • Make sure to ask for correct spellings while taking note of certain information. Wrong spellings can change the message completely.
  • Make sure to read the message details back to the caller, so as to confirm its accuracy.

Say "Goodbye" (and "You’re welcome" if it applies)

This is a pretty self-explanatory one; you need to sign off politely. Whether this is done by saying "goodbye" or "you’re welcome", ensure that the sign off is appropriate for the situation.

Give the message to the contact person ASAP

Next, you need to write up the message coherently, with all of the call and caller information also included. When you have the final file, attach it using the form field below.

To make sure that the recipient got the urgent message, send it through email. The recipient can easily access this and get all the right information. Consider the example email below; feel free to customize it to your preferences!

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